WEFOUNDa catholic funeral homily john


Fr. Paul Scalia’s homily at the funeral of his father, Justice Antonin Scalia, was “remarkable in its moving profundity,” as one of my colleagues wrote. But why was the homily so good? Can we analyze it and understand why it was so perfectly appropriate and profound? Such reflections can be helpful to both pastors and the faithful.

Second, the homily had a clear structure, based on a verse from Scripture, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever.” Thus the homily had three parts: one in which the homilist invited the congregation to reflect on the past in thanksgiving; another in which he looked to the present in sorrow; and a third in which he looked to the future in hope. A homily needs a clear structure, so that it can be followed easily and remembered. The congregation is hearing everything for the first time, and only has a few moments to follow it! So much the better if its structure comes from Scripture.

There was a second prominent allusion. When near the end of the homily, Fr. Scalia implored, “We must allow this encounter with eternity to change us, to turn us from sin and towards the Lord,” he was alluding to the season of Lent, which is a time, the Church teaches, of conversion from sin and conversion to God. So both of Father’s key allusions served to place the funeral Mass in time as the Church observes time: both within the broad movement of time which is the New Evangelization, and in the particular period of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving which is Lent.

Easels are available to place a portrait or picture of your loved one. When “cremation remains” are brought into the Church, a table will be made available to place the Urn during the Mass.

The Paschal Candle stands at the head of the coffin as a reminder of the Risen Christ who has conquered sign and death and lives among us. This candle also reminds us that our loved ones share in the victory of Jesus over the powers of darkness and now shares the new life offered by Jesus Christ.

On Eagles Wings BB-433 “And he will raise you up on Eagles wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of his hand.”

The news that Flo had passed away came to me through a phone call.  Once that brief but significant conversation was over, a couple odd thoughts passed through my mind.

One of them was that Flo had died in her prime.  Usually we imagine somebody’s prime as a period much earlier than their late eighties, but perhaps this is just prejudice.  Whatever it was like for Flo earlier in her life, I would say that her final years were part of her prime.  After all, she was happy, she was relatively healthy, and she was enjoying her life.  She exercised a positive influence on the people around her.  That sounds to me like the prime of life.

Another thought that passed through my mind probably mirrored the lyrics of a vintage pop song.  Flo was somebody who lived until she died.  She did not die in spirit and then continue on for decades after that, as some people appear to do.  Instead, she was alive in spirit all the time she was alive in the body.  She lived until she died.  And the claim of Christian faith is that, by God’s gift, she continues to live.

Fr. Paul Scalia’s homily at the funeral of his father, Justice Antonin Scalia, was “remarkable in its moving profundity,” as one of my colleagues wrote. But why was the homily so good? Can we analyze it and understand why it was so perfectly appropriate and profound? Such reflections can be helpful to both pastors and the faithful.

Second, the homily had a clear structure, based on a verse from Scripture, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever.” Thus the homily had three parts: one in which the homilist invited the congregation to reflect on the past in thanksgiving; another in which he looked to the present in sorrow; and a third in which he looked to the future in hope. A homily needs a clear structure, so that it can be followed easily and remembered. The congregation is hearing everything for the first time, and only has a few moments to follow it! So much the better if its structure comes from Scripture.

There was a second prominent allusion. When near the end of the homily, Fr. Scalia implored, “We must allow this encounter with eternity to change us, to turn us from sin and towards the Lord,” he was alluding to the season of Lent, which is a time, the Church teaches, of conversion from sin and conversion to God. So both of Father’s key allusions served to place the funeral Mass in time as the Church observes time: both within the broad movement of time which is the New Evangelization, and in the particular period of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving which is Lent.

Easels are available to place a portrait or picture of your loved one. When “cremation remains” are brought into the Church, a table will be made available to place the Urn during the Mass.

The Paschal Candle stands at the head of the coffin as a reminder of the Risen Christ who has conquered sign and death and lives among us. This candle also reminds us that our loved ones share in the victory of Jesus over the powers of darkness and now shares the new life offered by Jesus Christ.

On Eagles Wings BB-433 “And he will raise you up on Eagles wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of his hand.”

Fr. Paul Scalia’s homily at the funeral of his father, Justice Antonin Scalia, was “remarkable in its moving profundity,” as one of my colleagues wrote. But why was the homily so good? Can we analyze it and understand why it was so perfectly appropriate and profound? Such reflections can be helpful to both pastors and the faithful.

Second, the homily had a clear structure, based on a verse from Scripture, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever.” Thus the homily had three parts: one in which the homilist invited the congregation to reflect on the past in thanksgiving; another in which he looked to the present in sorrow; and a third in which he looked to the future in hope. A homily needs a clear structure, so that it can be followed easily and remembered. The congregation is hearing everything for the first time, and only has a few moments to follow it! So much the better if its structure comes from Scripture.

There was a second prominent allusion. When near the end of the homily, Fr. Scalia implored, “We must allow this encounter with eternity to change us, to turn us from sin and towards the Lord,” he was alluding to the season of Lent, which is a time, the Church teaches, of conversion from sin and conversion to God. So both of Father’s key allusions served to place the funeral Mass in time as the Church observes time: both within the broad movement of time which is the New Evangelization, and in the particular period of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving which is Lent.


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